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Paris – One more try

June 17, 2011

Well yesterday I wrote a blog post and added pictures, but something happened after posting the pics and all the text went away. So here goes a big catchup entry.
As previously noted, Oxford was wonderful and preaching in the chapel at Keble College was really something. It’s a beautiful, overwhelming space with a multi million dollar pipe organ being installed (so lots of scaffolding)! Jen has pics of the incredible mosaics behind the high altar, so will try to post them soon.
Also as previously noted, we missed our train to Paris due to a Eurostar mixup with the tickets. End result – they paid for a night in London and upgraded us to first class the next day. So Jen and I arrive at the train station Tuesday in plenty of time, are escorted to the first class lounge where we are pampered. We don’t know how to behave that way! They called for boarding and since no one else in the lounge got up, we didn’t either. So they called final call and we decided we better head down to the train. Of course, the elevator got stuck and we were a few minutes getting there, to learn the boarding had closed!ARRRGH! We begged and whined and they opened the doors to let us on. Whew.
The train ride was very fun and so smooth! Wish we had high speed trains in the US, it’s a great way to travel.
Our hotel in Paris is lovely, and we were put in a junior suite because our standard room was booked. It’s very nice with a great view of the square right down the street.
We are quite near the Louvre and other venues, so an ideal spot. Tuesday after arrival we were booked for dinner at the Eiffel Tower and a cruise on the Seine River. What fun! Although both events were with a lot of unknown to us tourists, we had a great time. Dinner on first level of the tower, then we rode up to the 2nd to look around. Astounding views! The top was closed due to congestion, so we skipped that and had a lovely hour long boat ride on the Seine.
Wednesday we just strolled around the river, a lunch on the Seine and just relaxed. It was GREAT!
Paris is ULTRA crowded, traffic is horrible and the lines for everything are very long. Thursday we rode an open top bus around town and saw a LOT of sites. We were scheduled to go on a bus to Versailles, but our open top tour got stuck in traffic and we missed it (do you see a pattern here?). They allowed us to swap to Friday, thank goodness. So we hopped back on the open bus to see another loop of town that we hadn’t seen before. There is SO much to do here.
Today (Friday) was museum day! We rode the bus to Versailles and toured the palace and gardens. Absolutely incredible. Then afterwards we took in both the Orsay and Louvre museums (Louvre is open late on Fridays). Both were amazing and overwhelming, but we were pretty exhausted afterwards, realized we had skipped lunch, and stumbled to a local cafe for a decent dinner.
Tomorrow we are on our own again, nothing formal planned. Will see a museum or two probably and perhaps another river-side picnic! Should be fun. Sunday we return to London.
I am not going to load pics this time so hope this post works. Blessings to all!

Categories: sabbatical
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